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Stroke happens when there is either a clot blocking blood flow in an artery or a blood vessel ruptures inside of the brain. Stroke is actually the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of adult disability.[1] And strokes are about 80% preventable.

The study mentioned above showed that consuming foods high in vitamin C may help decrease the risk of having a stroke. Researchers compared 65 healthy adults who had not had a stroke with 65 adults who had experienced a stroke (due to ruptured blood vessel in the brain). Blood levels of vitamin C were measured and here is what they found: Less than half of the stroke victims had normal vitamin C levels. Fifty-nine percent of stroke victims had either deficient or depleted levels of vitamin C in their blood.

So what are some of the top vitamin C containing foods? Look no further than fresh fruits and vegetables - and we're not just talking about orange juice, there are much better sources with more fiber and less sugar. Citrus fruits, guava, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, and the herbs thyme and parsley are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Make sure you are adding these foods to your diet on a daily basis. Vitamin C also helps protect against heart disease, so you'll also be doing your heart great service by eating these foods.

Other strategies to help lower risk of stroke include eating more fiber - men should aim for at least 30 grams daily and women, no less than 25 grams of fiber daily. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco in all forms, and keeping alcohol to a minimum are also key lifestyle factors for reducing stroke risk.


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